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037. Bright Saturday. April 19/May 2,1970

Dear Father in Christ, Seraphim,
In truth Christ is Risen! Rejoice in the Lord! Bless us, Father!

Of course, we shall do as you wish and not print your letter. However, I must assure you that among those Orthodox faithful who value their faith above everything else, and who are aware of what is happening in the world, your letter did not at all bring ridicule to you, but instead has inspired and strengthened many in the fight for true Orthodoxy today. If there is anything ungrammatical in it — I myself did not notice anything in particular — this is not even noticeable beside the obvious fact that it was written from the heart and it exposes a situation that must be known to those who love Orthodoxy and wish to fight for it. Perhaps it could be considered a “mistake,” or at least not prudent of you, to mention the three names openly — but if so, I think it is a providential mistake, for these three men are traitors to Orthodoxy, on the same level (although more refined) as Patr. Athenagoras and Archbp. Iakovos, and it is time that the Orthodox faithful be informed of this. Archbp. John Shahovskoy for 40 years has been preaching a “poetical” Christianity that is against monasticism and every kind of strict Orthodoxy; Fr. Schmemann is clearly attempting to Protestantize Orthodoxy; and Fr. Meyendorff, by his irresponsible and slanderous attack against the hierarchs and faithful of the Russian Church Abroad (in the Feb. Orthodox Church) shows himself so anxious to follow in their footsteps that he departs even from ordinary honesty and fairness. These men are clearly leading the Metropolia into “Eastern-rite Protestantism,” and now the Metropolia hierarchs have unanimously joined with the enemies of Christs Church in order to speed up this aim — it is too late to do anything for the Metropolia, anyone who wishes to remain in Christ’s Church must leave her now before being caught in her snares.

You have been suspended — but glory be to God for this also, for you are suffering for confessing true and heartfelt Orthodoxy, and thus you are encouraging many others. Only stand firm! They will try to persuade you to be so humble that you will regard everything you said as a mistake, and then they will try to make you follow them into heresy out of “humility.” No — the monks of Mt. Athos are true monks, and they are humble, but you know what they say about Patr. Athenagoras, and they refuse to follow him or to pray for him as their bishop. Now the Metropolia itself forbids you to pray for their bishops at services — this is surely a sign that your connection with them is finished. For what could you “apologize” to them — that you do not have all the facts to back up your statements? But those facts do exist, and we will be printing many of them. Dear Father — we consider that your letter does honor to the faithful of the Metropolia; it is one of the few honest and honorable things to come from the Metropolia in recent months. But the Metropolia leadership does not want this, it is proud of its apostates, for they have given it worldwide recognition. Then do not hesitate to come and join us who are gathered around some of the few Orthodox bishops left today.

Frankly, we are anxious to see you leave St. Tikhons as soon as possible; before they put all their pressures and persuasions to work on you. Metropolitan Philaret is spending several weeks now in Europe and the Holy Land, which is probably why you don’t hear from him. Isn’t it possible for you to go to stay at one of our places while waiting the outcome of you petition? — to Jordanville, Fr. Panteleimon’s monastery in Boston, or to the Synod in New York? We would gladly invite you to stay with us, but we are far away and so for we have only two small cabins in the forest under primitive conditions. Nonetheless, if now or in the future you wish to come to us, you are more than welcome. For eight months now we have been living in the Coast Mountains of California, about 250 miles north of San Francisco, in a complete wilderness area — the nearest town, 2 miles away, has only 50 people, and for 40 miles in three directions there is no one at all except a few hunters, hikers, etc. Gleb and I are both ordained Readers, and hope by the end of the year, by God’s grace, to be tonsured monks. Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco has celebrated Liturgy here, on an outdoor Altar-table on the spot where we hope to begin building our chapel this year. Abbot Panteleimon of Boston has also visited us. We read the daily cycle of services ourselves, but for Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion we must go to San Francisco (as we did on Christmas and Pascha) or wait for a priest to visit us.

We hope to hear from you soon, and ask your prayers for us sinners.

With love in Christ our Saviour,

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